South American Cup kicks off in Argentina
After a cancellation earlier this month in Cerro Catedral, the opening technical races of the 2018 South American Cup (SAC) were contested at Las Lenas, Argentina, from 25-27 August. The men and ladies each duked it out in one slalom and two giant slalom races to start the season.
The technical series got underway with blue skies overhead for slalom. Argentina's Francesca Baruzzi Farriol bested fellow countrywoman Macarena Simari Birkner by 0.29 seconds for the win. Youngster Mialitiana Clerc of Madagascar (YOB 2001), who trained and competed in France last winter, rounded out the podium in third place for her career-best finish in the discipline. In the men's race, Argentina's Enrique Evia Y Roca bested teammate Cristian Javier Simari Birkner by 0.62 seconds for the victory. Chilean young gun Diego Holscher, also YOB 2001 like in the ladies' race, finished on the podium in third.
Baruzzi Farriol claimed the win in the first ladies' GS race and was joined on the podium in third place again by Clerc. Andrea Ellenberger of Switzerland split the duo in second place, just 0.21 seconds from the win. She bettered her position for victory in the second GS race with Clerc repeating in third place yet again. This time, Nicol Gastaldi of Argentina was able secure second place and her first SAC podium of the season.
The 17-year-old Holscher blew the doors off the first men's GS race, skiing with bib 1 to take the win and his first-ever FIS victory. Simari Birkner finished in second at 1.83 seconds back and Andres Figueroa of Chile finished third at 2.16 seconds back. Simari Birkner came back for the win in the second GS race followed closely by Chilean Sven Von Appen at only 0.07 seconds off the win. Holscher, on a hot streak, rounded out the podium in third.
Baruzzi Farriol currently leads the ladies' SAC overall and slalom standings and sits second in GS (as the top skier from South America). Simari Birkner holds the men's SAC overall and GS standings, while Evia Y Roca is leading in slalom. Holscher is sitting in second in the overall standings at 40 points back and second in the GS standings at 20 points back.
The SAC super-G originally scheduled for 28 August has been cancelled, and the Argentinian national championships in GS will instead take place on that day. SAC competition continues in El Colorado, Chile, on 1 September.
View complete results from the SAC races in Las Lenas here.